KARACHI: Pakistan may play the Davis Cup Asia Oceania zone group two second round match against New Zealand in April on a neutral venue. The tie is slated for April 5 to 7.

“We’ve approached our Malaysian counterparts to allow us play our next rubber against the Kiwis on grass courts in Kuala Lumpur,” president of the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF), Dr Syed Kaleem Imam, told Dawn.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan secured 3-2 victory over Sri Lanka at Colombo while New Zealand blanked Lebanon 5-0 at Auckland in their respective first round matches played simultaneously earlier this month.

Pakistan, he said, has the right to host New Zealand which may distance itself from coming due to alleged security fears. If all goes well, the tie may be played on a neutral venue, he added.

Responding to a question, he said Malaysian grass courts suit Pakistan and that’s the reason the PTF has contacted them and awaiting for their response.

According to latest ITF Davis Cup rankings, New Zealand in ranked 39th while Pakistan has been placed 53rd.

The PTF chief, who is serving as Police Commissioner, UN, Sudan, and was here on a private visit, announced bonus of 1,000 US $ apiece for Aisam-ul-Haq and Aqeel Khan and 500 US $ each for Yasir Khan and Abid Mushtaq for the triumph over Sri Lanka.

Applauding the quartet, he said despite difficult conditions they played courageously.

Referring to the Fed Cup, he said since coming at the helm of affairs in Nov 2010, he has been sending women’s to the annual competition for international exposure despite financial constraints. Previously, there was no participation since 2002, he added.

He called upon the sponsors to come forward and sponsor tennis activities of the PTF as they have been doing for cricket, hockey and other sports.

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